Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that develops inside the mouth (oral cavity). It can form on the:
According to Dr. Nandita Lilly, one of NewMouth’s in-house dentists, “it is important to detect oral cancer in its early stages so the cancer can be treated more successfully.”
Oral cancer causes a wide range of signs and symptoms, depending on where it forms, including:
Cancer can impact anywhere in the mouth. But some types of oral cancer are more common than others. Some of the more common types of mouth cancer include:
Cheek cancer impacts the inner lining of the cheek. People who use tobacco products or drink alcohol are more likely to develop cheek cancer.
Common symptoms associated with cheek cancer include:
Most people with cheek cancer undergo surgery. More advanced cases may also require radiation or chemotherapy.
Floor of the mouth cancer impacts the flat, thin cells that line the bottom of the mouth. It’s unclear what causes floor of the mouth cancer. But some factors increase the risk of developing it, such as:
A sore or lump that won’t heal is often the first sign of floor of the mouth cancer. Other symptoms include:
Most people with floor of the mouth cancer undergo surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. They may also undergo reconstructive surgery so they can eat, drink, and talk properly.
Gum cancer is cancer that develops in the upper or lower gums. It is often mistaken for less serious conditions, like gingivitis.
The true cause of gum cancer is unknown. But drinking alcohol and using tobacco products seems to increase the likelihood of developing it.
Common symptoms of gum cancer include:
Most people with gum cancer undergo surgery. More advanced cases may also require chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Lip cancer impacts the skin of the lips.
It’s unknown what causes lip cancer. However, tobacco products and excessive sun exposure increase the risk of developing it. People with pale skin or weakened immune systems are also more likely to develop lip cancer.
Common symptoms and signs associated with lip cancer include:
Most people with lip cancer undergo surgery to remove the cancerous area and parts of the surrounding area. A surgeon may also repair the region to reduce scarring and make it easier to eat, drink, and speak.
Other treatments for lip cancer include:
Tongue cancer can impact the first two-thirds of the tongue (oral tongue) or the back one-third (base).
People who smoke are five times more likely to develop tongue cancer than non-smokers. Having HPV, particularly HPV-16 and HPV-18, also increases the risk of developing tongue cancer.
Tongue cancer can cause different symptoms, depending on the part of the tongue it impacts.
Symptoms of oral tongue cancer include a lump that:
Symptoms of cancer on the base of the tongue are usually unnoticeable in the early stages. But in later stages, it may cause:
The best treatment for tongue cancer depends on the stage of cancer. But most people undergo surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Cancer of the jaw often develops when cancers elsewhere in the mouth spread (metastasize).
Jaw cancer tends to occur due to genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include:
The early stages of jaw cancer may not cause any obvious symptoms.
But jaw cancer can cause:
The type of treatment for jaw cancer depends on the stage and extent of cancer. But it is often treated using surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Oral cancers often involve the lips, tongue, or jaw.
Less common types of oral cancer include:
Verrucous carcinoma is a very slow-growing cancer that tends to cause mouth sores.
This type of cancer affects the glands that produce saliva. Symptoms include:
Lymphoma develops in part of the immune system called lymph tissues or glands. The base of the tongue and tonsils contain lymph tissues. Symptoms include:
A dentist may spot signs of oral cancer during regular checkups. If this occurs, they will order preliminary tests and a biopsy to see if they are associated with oral cancer.
A dentist or other doctor may also refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist, an oral maxiofacial surgeon or a dental oncologist to follow up on your symptoms.
To diagnose someone with oral cancer, an ENT specialist or dentist may perform a:
There’s no scientifically established way to prevent oral cancer. But you may be able to reduce your risk of developing it by:
Unlike non-cancerous symptoms, signs and symptoms of oral cancer tend to last more than 2 weeks or not heal. Common signs of oral cancer include:
To prevent oral cancer, practice good oral hygiene, don’t use tobacco products, avoid excessive sun exposure, and consume alcohol in moderation or not at all. Talk to a doctor if oral symptoms last a long time, worsen, or spread.